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Why does the state's graduation rate and dropout rate not add up to 100%?

Answer: 

Graduation rates and dropout rates are very different. A graduation rate is reported each year but includes information from a cohort of students which takes four or five years to report. For example, in a graduation rate, not all non-graduates are considered dropouts. On the other hand, a dropout rate is an annual event rate. A student who dropped out once (or multiple times) in a given school year is counted in an annual dropout rate once; a student who dropped out multiple times from year to year during four years of high school is counted in each year’s dropout rate. However, a dropout (never graduated) is only counted one time in a cohort graduation rate even the student dropped out multiple years during high school. If a student is enrolled in school continuously until he/she reaches maximum age, he or she will be counted as a non-graduate (against graduation rate) but never reported as a dropout (not against dropout rate).

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on July 04, 2015 at 2:47pm.